High expectations must be coupled with high support
To ensure student success, Unity staff members provide support commensurate with the high expectations placed upon students, both in the form of academic support and support in character development.
Drawing on our Community’s Diversity of Perspective and Experience Deepens Learning
We firmly believe that educational equity is best achieved, and academic learning is most profound, in diverse school settings. Our community draws strength from the rich experiences of each student.
Building Connections between the Classroom and Adult World is Empowering
To supplement students’ academic learning, we provide students opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to real world experiences. This requires going beyond the school’s walls so that students may meaningfully interact with and positively contribute to the local community. The typical school day cannot provide such a program – we thus offer an extended school day and school year.
A Powerful School Culture Requires Going Beyond Compliance
Our core values, the code of conduct, the enrichment programs, and the attitudes and behavior of the staff breed a culture in which students experience a sense of unity with classmates, value the power of being highly educated, and take responsibility for their own learning. We complement academic education with training on managing emotions and developing character strengths including our Core Values of Awareness, Initiative, Courage, Inquiry, Kindness and Integrity.
Strong Teaching is a Central Lever in Promoting Student Learning
Recruiting, developing, and retaining exceptional teachers is an absolute priority for us. We reward teachers generously for their contributions to student learning. Likewise, we provide ample, ongoing opportunities for teachers to develop their skills, establish and meet goals, and be challenged to reach their full potential as educators.
Assessing Learning through a Variety of Forms is Essential
We believe that using standardized test results as the sole measure of a student’s academic progress leads to an incomplete understanding of the student’s overall ability and potential to excel. An annual year-end presentation of a portfolio of work spanning the entire year is a more comprehensive and informative representation of a student’s learning. These RT presentations also reveal a student’s interpersonal skills and the development of their character strengths. When examining standardized test data, it is imperative that a student’s growth is celebrated as prominently as the student’s actual proficiency level.
The Exchange of Best Practices Amplifies our Impact
We subscribe to the notion that any school developing innovative practices that successfully promote student learning has a responsibility to share them with other schools.